Birthmother on adoption and abortion

One woman told her story. She had an unplanned pregnancy, and the doctor was pressuring her to have an abortion:

“I was single and hadn’t planned to get pregnant – but I wasn’t showing any signs of distress. On subsequent visits to the hospital, the same doctor ridiculed me for not having an abortion. I think the idea that anybody could actually have an unwanted child, and go ahead and put it up for adoption is by some people considered inhuman – whereas abortion would have been acceptable. But abortion didn’t enter my head; whatever my predicament, the baby has rights too…

I imagined that because I really disliked the father that the baby would be really ugly and repellent to me. But he wasn’t. He was absolutely beautiful. I was surprised that he was lovely, and he looked so like the other boys [her other children]. I never had the slightest change of mind about the adoption, but still, he was lovely…..

I do wish people would stop thinking about adoption as something inhuman. A few of the mothers in the hospital said, “How on earth could you do that? Why didn’t you have an abortion?” They were very judgmental. And I was very upset at the time, but I realize why now. I think they obviously loved their own children and identified with them, but it would be acceptable if I had had a termination because then nothing would be seen. I think they could kid themselves that there was nothing there, but if it’s a real baby you’re dealing with something different. The unborn baby is seen as inhuman; the born baby is seen as a full human being. It is a form of discrimination against human life just because it is not seen… I think people should be helped to go through the pregnancy, and they must reach their own decision. Not alone- they need help.”

Debby Sanders, founder of pro-life group Women for Life, which supports women with unplanned pregnancies.

Mary Kenny Abortion: The Whole Story (London: Quartet Books, 1986) 104-105

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About Sarah

Sarah Terzo is a freelance writer and journalist who works for Live Action. She is a member of the board of The Pro-life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians and Consistent Life.
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